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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  August 13, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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this is cnn breaking news. 4:00 a.m. on the u east coast. welcome back to our breaking news coverage at krp cnn in atl. i'm george howell. this deadly attack happened in charlottesville, virginia. federal authorities are now investigating this car attack as a civil rights case. here's a look at the man that police arrested in connection with this attack. 20-year-old james alex fields jr. he's being held on suspicion of second-degree murder. to show you the actual video of this car attack, we want to warn you it's graphic. if you have small children in the room, now is the time to have them turn away.
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here's a look if he video. >> a sense on of the chaos here. the still image tells the story as well. the moment people were thrown into the air. people didn't have time to react when this happened. a 32-year-old woman, of course, was killed in this attack many in the meantime, the president of the united states, donald trump, urgeed fd for unity but less than, accomplice it about who was to blame here. he did not label them who they are, white nationalists. >> we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in charlottesville, va srafpirgivi. we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and
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violence on many sides. on many sides. >> that term "on many sides" has people scratching their heads. general jeff sessions said the violence and deaths in charlottesville strike at the heart of american law and justice and goes on to say, when such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated. let's get the latest from brian todd on what exactly what happened in charlottesville, virginia. >> reporter: a day of violence and escalating tepblnsion here charlottesville, virginia as there was a street clash. the violence got even worse. several people were injured in the initial clashes between the two groups of demonstrators. shortly after 1:30 p.m. eastern
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time in the street behind me, 4th street in charlottesville, as a group of demonstrators were walking down the street, a car plowed into several of them and struck two other vehicles. one 32-year-old woman was killed in that incident. at least 19 people were hurt. and separately state troopers died in a helicopter crash just outside charlottesville, virginia. here's what we can tell you about the suspect in the car strike that occurred behind me at the scene. 20-year-old james alex fields jr. from maumee, ohio. he has been arrested and booked in a local jail. charged with one count of second-degree murder, one count of failure to stop in an accident resulting in death. three people have been arrested in connection with the demonstrations. two are from out of town. and the governor and local mayor here told us that a lot of the people they believe who caused here to come trouble did come
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from out of state. investigators are still piecing through what happened. a civil rights investigation has been launched by the justice department into the incident behind me. one man faces second-degree murder charge. >> brian talked on the scene there. cnn spoke with a reporter who heard from the mother of the man suspected of driving that car into the crowd of people. listen. >> he told her last week he was planning to go, he had taken the day off from work. she described it as an alt-right rally. she said she was unaware of the extremist nature or as far as the other people who were going to be attending. >> did she say that her son was part of any of these groups, was similar pat co with any of these groups?
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>> she was pretty unaware what the definition of alt-right would be. she fumbled over the language. i don't think she knew what that definition would be. she said she doesn't try to get too much into his political beliefs and that she's not too well srerversed in his politica leanings in any way. i don't get awe sense necessarily knew what he was heading for this weekend. >> so still some uncertainty in the motive according to the interview that you hear there. but the investigation certainly under way. the mayor of charlottesville said the white supreme sifts brought hatred into the city and that belongs in the trash heap of history. >> this time of hatred and intolerance that comes come down and marched down with torched is
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brought here by outsiders. it's brought here by people who belong in the trash heap of history with these ideas. they're going to be in the trash heap of history. this day will not define us. we will define this day by the story that we continue to tell tomorrow and the tomorrow after that, the week after that, and the year after that. there is a very sad and coarseness in our politics that we have too much of today. opponents have become our enemies. we are the birth place of democracy. it is is about deliberation, progress, working together. at the end of the day if you disagree with somebody, you don't try to take them down. you agree to move forward. these folks do not want that. they do not agree with the rules of democracy. they are on the losing side of democracy. the work of rebuilding and healing is just beginning. tomorrow will come. we will emerge, i can promise
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you, stronger than ever. >> there is the event that happened and the optics of the president's response. alex setting up his camera. you're back with us there? we need a moment of levity there. your camera looks good. thanks for being with us here on newsroom there in new york. here's the question. talking about the big picture, ellis, the president of the united states being criticized for not calling these protesters what they were, white nationalists. let's not negotiate on the campaign trail, he he aggressively criticized his predecessor for not using the word radical eugs lahra islamic. >> radical islamic terrorism. and i'll tell you what, we have a president that refuses to use the term. he refuses to say it.
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he refuses to use the term radical islamic terrorism. he refuses to use the term. you know, you hear the term radical us lambic terrorism. he he won't say it. he won't say it. and you can't solve a problem if you refuse to talk about what the problem is. >> and to now use the president of the united states's own words, he refuses to use the term, ellis. why do you think that might be the case? is there some political calculation here as to why the president won't just call a duck a duck. >> reporter: well, you're right. it is not exactly the same as obama's explanation for not wanting to use the islamic tr yn term. we can call them national supreme sifts, white supreme sifts, alt-right.
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they helped to elect the president of the united states. it is not forward to say everyone who voted for donald trump is a racist and believes in these horrible views. but it is to say part of the coalition did include some people who do hold these views. we saw a group of them out in the streets of charlottesville, virginia this weekend. >> but rather here is the shoe on the other foot now? there is a term that the president said needed to be used several years ago, needed to be used to address the problem directly. now we are seeing a problem that is not being directly addressed? >> reporter: it is a fair criticism, honestly. if you can't name your enemy, it's kind of hard to fight your enemy. but it is being done in a very calculated way. the president is is reluctant to alien ate that group of the electorate.
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at some point as president you have to take a stand on these things. he he has been notably slow in this case, you're absolutely right. >> ellis, i want to show our viewers, i'll ask our director if we can pwrupbg up the video that took place in charlottesville, when you see the video it paints the picture of the question that i'll ask here. many are questioning the president's term or use of the term "many sides." is that creating a false equivalent here? does that legitimize this group of hatemongers? >> reporter: it does. when you say all of god's children are sin, that does not shine new light on what most agree is a pressing reality. there are some people in our country, some people in our
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midst, sometimes even people we know who hold views that are on matters of race, justice and e equality abhorrent to most. >> he used the word bigotry. but he did not call a spade a spade. the people that were there were white nationalists. that is simply the fact. thank you for your time today. still ahead on newsroom, president trump being criticized for his reaction to shattersville. both sides are giving their statements more directly. more on that ahead.
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♪ we continue covering the aftermath of what happened in the u.s. state of virginia. breaking news this hour here on cnn. i'm george howell. federal authorities have opened a civil rights investigation is into this car attack that took place in the city of charlottesville. one woman died. this when a car rammed into a crowd of people who were protesting a white nationalist rally. at least 19 other people were wounded. police arrested this man in the case, 20-year-old james alex fields jr. he is being held on suspicion of
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second-degree murder. clashes took place between white supreme sifts and people who came to face them down. here's the background of what happened on that day. the rally that took place was to protest the planned removal of a statue of a confederate civil war general in city park. it is a divisive and emotional issue. monuments like these bring strong feelings. many say the statue is symbols of the past of racism and bigotry. others say they simply want to preserve their hour taj and history. the issue is especially emotional in the u.s. state of virginia. more background. virginia's capital richmond was the capital of the confederacy. half a million men became casualties. the state was starved and devastated by the end of the
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war. many cities erected statues and battlefields preserved as parks. as reactions go so far to what happened in virginia, democrats and some republicans are criticizing the president of the united states for his response to the violence in charlottesville. athena jones has more on that. >> reporter: that's right. the president did respond to the violence in charlottesville earlier today. here is part of what he had to say. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. it's been going on for ah long time in our country. not donald trump, not barack obama. it's been going on for a long, long time. it has no place some america. >> reporter: in one phrase you heard from the president right now there is getting a lot of attention, a lot of criticism.
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that is what he said the violence, hatred and bigotry on many sides, on many sides. he is equating the neonazis, white nationalists who were demonstrating today and last night with the folks who were counterdemonstrating, protesting the racism and the racial epithets they were espousing. i asked what the white officials what he main by several times. >> they said he was con coming hatred, bigotry from all sides. there was violence between protesters and counterprotesters did. they were doubling down on this idea that both sides are to blame. another thing that is notable, the president talked about bringing the country together. the need to unite, to straighten out the situation in charlottesville, to study it, to figure out what's going wrong in this country that allows this
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sort of thing to happen. while a lot of critics are saying the president himself needs to call out the organizers of these demonstrations by name. specifically we're talking about the white nationalists. people who were carrying flags with nazi emblems, confederate flags. people showed is up on the university of virginia's campus last night carrying torches, protesting the removal of a confederate statue. they know the president has long criticized people like barack obama for not using phrases like radical islamic terrorism. how can you defeat this enemy without naming it. one more thing i want to note. this is a president who has not been shy about criticizing a long list of people. whether it's democrats like president barack obama or his former rival hillary clinton or fellow republicans like senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, john mccain, form or fbi
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director james comby, and special counsel bob mueller. what he has not done is condemn white supremely, white nationalists, nazis or neonazis. a lot of people believe his statement here on saturday did not go far enough. back to you. >> athena jones, thank you. a lot of people say his lack of condemnation sends a strong message. senior political analyst david g gergen. >> reporter: we do know one thing is clear. the president repeated on many sides. he placed a moral equivalent seu betwe between the neonazis and the people who showed up today to defend racial justice. and in doing that, by putting an equivalence on it, he in fact,e.
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that was a defense. everybody has to do it. i'm sorry. that we have to be very clear about, the second thing is, yes, there is a first amendment protection for freedom of assembly, freedom of speech. it is not an unfettered right. the courts have been quite clear. you do not have the right to use violence that incites violence, had they are saying make this country back and milwaukee it white dominated country again. that is what we had. primary responsible for the violence rests with those people who are the neonazis and white supreme sifts and other extremists. >> as david gergen adviser to
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presidents on of both political parties and cnn political analy analyst. among those attending the rally in virginia was a holocaust denier, former kkk leader david duke. he has been a vocal supporter of president trump. this is when then candidate trump was asked about david duke. >> yes. go ahead. >> how do you feel about the recent endorsement from david duke? >> i didn't know he endorsed me. i disavow, okay? >> so the president disavowing david duke. keep in mind this after an interview with jake tapper where tap or asked candidate trump about david duke and mr. trump in that interview asked who is david duke. i'm paraphrasing him. duke explained the reasoning for saturday's alt-right and neo-nazi rally in virginia. listen to this.
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>> this represents a turning point. people are determined to take our country back. we're going to fulfill the promises of donald trump. that's that we believed in. that's why we voted for donald trump. because he said he's together to take our country back. >> mr. trump condemned the rally and urged americans to come together. duke sent a tweet directed at the president saying mr. trump should take a good look in the mirror and remember it was white americans who put you in the presidency, not radical. here's part of a conversation that bower began react to go david duke's comments. >> david duke is not in any way what i think what this country tries to speak to the world about welcoming and being a tolerant of other people's views.
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in fact, it's just the opposite. and it's not haeplealthy. i don't know why you continue to cover him. he's not relevant. it would take his relevance away. >> your thoughts on some of the gop lawmakers who are doing what the president didn't do. for instance, senator oren hatch tweeting we should call evil by his name. senator ted cruz calling it domestic terrorism. chuck grassley, what white nationalists are doing is homegrown terrorism. you have law make, republican colleagues of the president, who are calling it what it is. yet the president not doing that. how do you explain this huge disconnect between the president of the united states and these gop senators? >> well, those gop senators had plenty of time to come up with their message. they're not taking on as many
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things as the president of the united states is right now. some the president has had time. he has had hours to tweet again. he does like toe use twitter. >> he has tweeted sad, unfortunate -- well, i don't know that he said unfortunate. >> he hasn't called out white supremacy. >> well, i hope tomorrow that he does. again, i was watching van jones is, a good friend of mine, earlier. i heard his heart. i heard what he was saying. i heard what he wanted to hear from our president. and i think the president will claire some of the things maybe he didn't get a chance to address today. >> all right. andre bower, appreciate you coming on. thank you so much for your perspective. >> reporter: thank you, amber. >> still ahead on "newsroom," leaders denounce radical bigotry. we discuss race relations with a bit of history in mind. stay with us. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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an advanced fiber-network infrustructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. welcome back to our viewers here around the united states and around the world. we continue following breaking news on cnn. rage, hate, and death in the city of charlottesville, virginia. i'm george howell at cnn world headquarters in atlanta. three people have been arrested after these violent clashes that
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took place between white supremacists and those who came to face them down. we have video of the incident but we want to warn you this is graphic. it shows the chain reaction. the red fan moved into a crowd of people around being hit from behind from the attacker's crowd. 19 people injured, several is critically. this is the man arrested in connection of the car tack. the governor of virginia had a very emotional message at saturday's rally. listen. >> i have a message to all the white supremacists and the nazis who came into charlottesville today. our message is plain and simple, go home. you are not wanted in this great
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commonwealth. shame on you. you pretend that you're patriots but you are anything but a patriot. >> in the meantime, democrats and republicans are criticizing president trump for not labeling the protesters what they are, white nationalists. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. on many sides. it's been going on for a long time in our country. not donald trump. not barack obama. this has been going on for a long, long time. >> joining me to talk more about the situation we have with us this hour is the ceo for the center of civil and human rights right here in atlanta. it is is good to have you with us for perspective. >> yes. >> given the center there, given the history that i know that you
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know so very well, i want to talk about the president's words that are getting so much criticism, so much attention right now, many sides. if we could, i would ask the director to play that video of the protesters facing many of the white supremacists at this rally. you get a sense of what was happening on the ground. some will see it one way, others will see it another way. many sides, derrick. would many sides be applicable to the 1960s with the civil rights rallies that happened? many sides. >> many sides. i think this is a chance for the president to go back and look at this stick statement and address the country. if i were him i would sit down and put together a language piece that explains to the country what is going on. because what happened.
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something in terms of voting happened. they voted in virginia to put down this statue. that's what led to this particular event. so i think there is a march towards freedom happening all of the country. this happened in new orleans. it happened in south carolina with the flag. it is is happening everywhere. we are bringing down the vestiges and bringing up new monuments of courage. so i think this needs a lot of more thought to it than just one little sentence. >> let's get past the optics of the president's response and deeper into the nuance and the context and the history. >> yeah. >> you point out in new orleans, in georgia, and many different southern states, there is this debate about what some people saw this is an effort to preserve history. >> correct. >> and others say they are symbols of slavery, bug on on theory, hatred. >> yes. >> it is a very emotional issue that divides americans. >> it is.
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and rightfully so. when you look at what happened in the country during slave ry, it is in humane. it is not just african-americans. it is whites, jews. we want to bring about equality. not just for african-americans but for everybody. we need gender rights. people need jobs. so we unfortunately are part of this old struggle when we have real problems in the country. this is important that we actually uproot this and go back to the important things at risk right now. north korea. we have jobs issues, social security, health care. look at where we are, george, talking about old versstiges. >> it has a deep place for many people.
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do you feel that this is an issue that is being addressed as directly as it needs to be right now? >> not really. we need to really think about our leadership. the republicans have said some really important things. democrats have said really important things. the president needs to come out and say very important things. i asked myself every day what am i doing as derreck to bring the country to a moral aptitude. what are you doing to build this country to that place where we all say, ah, this is a country that respects everybody's rights? because next year, george, is commemoration of dr. king's death. 50 years. 50 years he passed away. so this is important. >> the ceo for the center for civil and human rights here in atlanta. thank you. >> thank you. >> still ahead here on
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"newsroom," we continue to watch this story it of charlottesville, virginia. after the break we will look at escalating tensions between washington and pyongyang. it put small guam right in the middle. a very important strategic location for the u.s. stay with us as newsroom pushes on.
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the u.s. department opened a civil rights investigation into saturday's clashes in charlottesville, virginia. one woman was killed. a dozen other were injured. this after a car slammed into protesters counter demonstrating against white supremacists attempting to hold a rally in charlottesville. around the world now, following our international news, tensions between u.s. and north korea remain high after pyongyang's latest missile threat. the and you say its allies are bracing for a potential attack. also, cnn learned the u.s. chair of the joint chiefs of staff is set to meet soccer soeruth kore president monday. cnn's ivan watson got a burdens eye view of the island and its
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strategic importance. >> reporter: guam is the u.s.'s westernmost territorial possession, an island three times the size is of washington, d.c. with spectacular beaches, reefs and greenery, home to 160,000 american citizens. it is closer geographically to countries like the philippines and japan than the mainland u.s. it is also an important military position. about a third of the island is controlled by the u.s. military. in our aerial tour, we have seen a submarine pulling into naval base guam. we passed over andersen air force base where b-1 bombers have been flying out of this week. there are 5,300 u.s. service personnel on this island. when you combine their families, that's about 13,000 service personnel and dependents.
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this is an important staging ground, refueling station and launch pad for the u.s. military. and north korea has announced it is is drawing up plans to try to fire four intermediate ballistic missiles that would aim to splash down in the ocean 30 to 40 kilometers off the coast of this american island. ivan watson, cnn, in the skies over guam. >> ivan, thank you so much for the look there at guam. cnn is covering the north korean missile threat with our correspondents across the globe. experience from ana coren and charisse live in tokyo. ana, let's start with you. do we have any indication of that might come out of this meeting set to take place
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between the u.s. president and south korea president? >> reporter: george, we know they were due to come to south korea. this was a scheduled visit. he will now be meeting with the president and national security adviser and the head of the defense ministry where north korea will be top of the agenda. whilst he's here in the region, he will be traveling to japan, as well as china and hawaii. but as i say, north korea definitely top of the agenda. they will be be talking about security is. they will be discussing the plans in place if there are any provocations. and also reassuring south korea that the united states is here with them. less than 30,000 american troops are stationed here in south korea. so this is an alliance that certainly goes a long way back. it's very strong. and the general coming to soccer soerbg just reaffirms that.
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in the last few hours, we have heard word out of south korea, a mouthpiece for the rulers working party, i want to read you some of the excerpts that have come from it. the strategic nuclear force of the dpr is the best safeguard it describes the united states the worst nuclear warmonger in the world. >> it does appear that life goes on as usual today. but people certainly have this story at the type of mind. thank you for the report. now charisse in tokyo. what more can you tell us about how that nation is preparing? >> reporter: well, japan responding by deploying patriot missile interceptors into the southern region of japan.
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those areas where they say would fly over on their way to guam if pyongyang carries through the threat, the u.s. dough ployiepl interceptor systems during a national holiday. patriot miss euliles are pointe towards the decide. even though they have been measured in their response, this escalating war of words between the u.s. and north korea, they are taking the threat at least somewhat seriously. that being said, important to remember there are some 54,000 u.s. military personnel based here in japan. and there has been no evacuation for u.s. citizens. life for regular japanese folks carries on as usual as you can see behind me, george. >> again, people are just moving about as normal. certainly this is an important story that the world is paying
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attention to. thank you for the reporting. we'll stay in touch with you. now let's bring in cnn military analyst rick francona. good to have you with us, sir, from eugene, oregon. let's first start with the big picture here. the president on the united states hearing from allies, everyone adversaries urging caution in this thing. where do things stand now? is this a matter of who calls whose bluff first? >> this is the real problem. we're up against each other. the best thing that leaders can do is ratchet down the receipt rubbing. because at some point one side is going to have to make an accommodation to the or. we have two opposing sides. they have two opposing positions which are diametrically opposed to each other. we want the north korea an
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calling off the exercises from every year. i don't think either side is willing to give on either one of those. >> i see you're having trouble with the earpiece where you can hear me. if you have trouble, let me know. the question i have for you is this, what option does the united states have? guam is at the center of this all, dubbed the tip of the sphere. it is a strategic location, as our own ivan watson reported for us. what does the u.s. have in its playbook in response for even in preemptive response here? >> no military options are good. any military option would trigger a war on the south korean -- on the korean peninsula we don't want. it will be catastrophic. human cost will be tragic and the ramifications long lasting. >> we need to come back from the bri brink. what we are asking is a freeze on the korean nuclear program.
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i don't think that's going to happen. the north koreans have made their nuclear program the centerpiece of their foreign policy. it is written into their constitution. they believe because of this paranoia of isolation the last 70 years that the only deterrence against american assault on their homeland is this nuclear deterrent. so i don't think they're going to be able to back down from that. what do we do? i think what's going to happen, and there is back channel diplomacy going on right now. we will diffuse this situation but we will not solve the crisis. the crisis will continue on. and i think the united states is going to have to figure out do we live with north korea, or are there or options he can take? what is it going forward? and we haven't figured it out yet. i don't think they are going to give anything that we want. so i think we're at an impasse and i think it's going to continue. i think this blinksmanship will
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slowly back off, george. >> thanks for your time today. >> thank you. also, we're following another story. we're learning more about the investigation into the trump administration's possible ties to russia. the "new york times" reporting that special counsel robert mueller is trying to interview current and former senior tpurbls from the trump team. that includes former white house chief of staff reince priebus. they want to know if he met former campaign manager paul manafort in june 2016. on that day, his son-in-law jared kushner and donald trump jr. all attended a meeting with russians who claimed to have had damaging information on candidate hillary clinton the "new york times" says mueller is also looking into president trump's decision to fire james comey. still ahead on on "newsroom," more deadly clashes in the state of virgini. more on what happened there.
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♪ >> all around a tragic situation, some might say heartbreaking what happened in the u.s. state of virginia. here's what we know so far. three people have been arrested over clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters, all of this taking place in the city of charlottesville, virginia. a car tack is now being investigated as a civil rights case. one woman died when a car rammed into a crowd of people protesting white nationalists. this man is being held in connection with that crash. in the meantime, democrats and republicans both are criticizing the u.s. president for not labeling the protesters, not calling them what they are, white nationalists. witnesses who saw the car slam into the counterprotesters say the vehicle was going very fast. two men at the scene describe
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exactly what they saw and heard. >> the car reversed back up the street as you can see in the video. we were sort of still in the scene and jumped out to get around the corner, the barrier, this building. the car flew by. immediately victims started coming out. my friend ran after the ckacar. i gave first aid to a lady who had come out from the scene. yeah. basically what happened. the car disappeared after that. >> were you able to get a look at the driver as he sped by you? >> no. the car had tinted windows. so it was difficult to see in. so i was looking is this person going to come directly towards me? i was looking to go back. i just saw it plow into the group of protesters. and i thought, well, this is clearly like terrorist incident, right? >> i got a glimpse of the driver. i was standing just a few feet
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from him as he came back. a white male. appeared to have close cropped hair. it was tinted windows. i didn't get a very good look at him. >> that had to be a really scary moment for everybody that was there when this happened. thanks for being with us. i'm george howell at cnn world head quart, in atlanta. our breaking news coverage continues in a moment. stay with us. at blue apron, we're building a better food system. where instead of paying for middlemen, we work directly with family farms to deliver higher quality ingredients for less than you pay at the store. get $30 off at ♪ whoa that's amazing... hey, i'm the internet! i know a bunch of people who would love that.
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